Wanna Win, Gotta Play – Politics and Facility Management

handshake-facility-manager-management-leadership-facility-university-facilityu-ifma-brad-howlettWhen you hear the word “politics”, what comes to mind?  Finger-pointing, gridlock, partisan, money, under-table deals, scandals, etc. – all-in-all, politics has a negative connotation.  However, according to Merriam-Webster, politics is defined as “activities that relate to influencing the actions and policies of a government or getting and keeping power in a government.”  The key words are “influencing the actions and policies” and “getting and keeping power”.  Granted the context is government, but the principles are the same regardless if you are working in the public or private sector.  If there are people, then there will be politics.  The key for facility management is that if you are ever going to progress your programs, obtain necessary resources, and gain recognition in the C-suite, then you have to play politics. 

In helping building engineers and aspiring facility managers discern their career path, they need to decide if they are willing to play politics and work with people more than they work with equipment; as the answer to this question is a key factor in determining their pursuit of a facility manager position.  Many will confess that they would rather stick to fixing equipment instead of people, because equipment is easier to work with – it is tough to argue against that point…  [Read More…]

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